Senior Highlanders players have vowed to stay put and renew their contracts with the Bulawayo football side after their deals expired on December 31.
The club has already lost the experienced pair of captain Gilbert Banda and Louis Matawu to FC Platinum.
At the end of the 2010 season they lost the Ngodzo brothers Zephaniah and Joel, Brighton Dube and Menard Mupera to the Zvishavane side.
They also lost Francis Kanda and Mupera who were dismissed from the club for disciplinary reasons and Protasho Kabwe to Northern Region Division One side Highfield United.
NewsDay Sport yesterday spoke to several Highlanders players to find out their plans for the 2012 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.
Highlanders attacking midfielder Bruce Kangwa said he intends to stay at Bosso as hewould be aiming for a better performance after a disappointing season where he was on the sidelines for six months through injury.
“I want to renew my contract with Highlanders. I am not joining any other team. I want to get more game time this year. I feel that we let our supporters down last year as we ended the season on position seven. We have to pull up our stockings and win trophies and then the league,” he said.
Veteran central defender Innocent Mapuranga said he intends to stay at the club if given a good contract. Mapuranga had a good season last year and was named as the Player of the Year and the Most Consistent Player of the Year.
“If I receive a good offer I will stay. They honoured my contract so I am still willing to be their player,” he said.
Goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda also said he would not be moving to any team.
“My contract expired on December 31, but I am not going anywhere. I intend to stay with Highlanders,” he said.
However, 2011 Footballer of the Year finalist Rahman Kutsanzira said he was not going to renew his contract unless the club offered him a good contract and settle what they owed him although he was reluctant to reveal the amount.
“I am not going to renew my contract with Highlanders. They still owe me money. I have a mother to take care of. I have passion for Highlanders, but I need a very good offer if I am to stay. My move will also depend on the upcoming Highlanders elections,” he said.
Another 2011 Football of the Year finalist Graham Ncube said he was still weighing his options as teams like Hwange, Caps United and Dynamos had shown interest in him.
“I am still deciding whether to renew my contract with Highlanders or not. It will depend on what they offer me. Other teams like Hwange, Caps United and Dynamos are after me,” he said.
Highlanders had one of their worst seasons last year and decided not to renew the contract of coach Mkhuphali Masuku who has been replaced by another former Highlanders player Kelvin Kaindu.
Kaindu is set to resume his new post on January 15, four days after completing a coaching course at English Championship side Reading.
He is a former striker at Highlanders and was assistant coach at Zambia’s Zanaco Football Club.